Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Produce Galore To Close

Another sad announcement. This is a letter from the owners:

Dear Friends,

This is the time of the year that I am usually looking forward to a new season and gathering ideas for spring recipes for our Passover and Easter menus. However, it seems that this is no ordinary year. I have a heavy sense of foreboding. This last year has been an especially hard one at Produce Galore. Although we have been in denial for a while, it is time for us to face the facts…

The current economic conditions are not going to change any time soon. In fact they are going to get worse before they get better. Consumer buying trends have changed. They don’t include small businesses in neighborhood centers that don’t have anchor stores. It is hard to draw the customers away from the big box stores that have surrounded Columbia.

This is very hard for us. This really is a family business. Not only have all of our children and grandchildren worked here, but our employees are like family also. We know their families. Indeed, many of their children and grandchildren have worked here too. I particularly will miss the songs and laughter coming from the kitchen.

I have always loved to cook and have always seen food as a source of creativity, adventure, learning and bonding. Produce Galore has become more than a fruit and vegetable store. We tried to make it a celebration of food.On balance, this has certainly not been a financially rewarding 33-year venture.I am telling myself that there is more than one way to define a successful business. Doing something you love with people you love has been an enriching and unique experience. We have been lucky to know so many good people.

Speaking of good people, I also will miss our customers. When my daughter, Stephanie, had an accident 18 years ago that left her comatose, it was our customers who taught me that I could survive. Thank you…especially Rosalie. And, when I had cancer, customers again shared their strength.

While it is true that the marketplace is changing and there is not much room in today’s world for a store like Produce Galore, we will always be grateful for the support you have given us.

Thank you,

Margaret and Kent


John G. Boyle said...


Barbara said...

I am sitting at my desk in shock and terribly sad over an email just received from Produce Galore with the tragic news of their closing this Friday. I've been telling all my friends and neighbors how important it is to patronize local village center businesses. In a time that we are supposedly becoming more "environmentally aware" we are driving further and further to go to big box stores like Costco, BJ's, Trader Joe's, etc. In addition, this illustrates how we are owned by corporate America. I've not patronized any of those businesses in the hopes that a core group could keep a store like Produce Galore alive. Sadly this is not the case. I feel especially saddened because both my sons worked at Produce Galore. The positive impact that experience had on their lives will never be taken away. Columbia's move away from village centers is one reason that I bought a cooperative apartment in Washington DC, where I can walk a block away to a grocery store, shoemaker, and hardware store. The timetable for my permanent move there was just pushed up with this news.

I wish Kent and Margaret only the best.

Barbara Glick
10359 Barcan Circle.
Bryant Woods Wilde Lake

jean Israel said...

I haven't recovered from the closing of Bun Penny and now this--very sad for Columbia-what a terrible loss.